Helping music students become better readers

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail Benjamin Franklin Don’t you find that your students are more successful at learning the music if they have looked at the score first before setting off? If left to their own devices, some will jump straight in and be quite surprised when they’ve reached the end…

Happy Piano Day!

It’s like a whole orchestra, the piano for me Dave Brubeck Wishing everyone a happy piano day! This happens on the 88th day of the year because of the number of keys on a piano. Have you played the piano today and if so, what did you play?

Teaching music online with Pharaoh Fred!

If you are a music teacher like me, due to recent world events you might have found yourself researching the possibilities for teaching online (or perhaps you already are). But have you thought about how you might make it fun and engaging? I have created a selection of online flashcard games which can work well…

Students love musical mysteries!

One thing I have noticed about my own music students is that they love a good mystery! Almost one of the first theory games I made was ‘Who Stole My Doughnut?’ and I have found it to be a great way to learn theory without students even realising – they are having so much fun…

Improve note reading with Fruit Ninja!

Are you looking for fun resources or games to make note reading fun? If you are like me, you might have lots of music students at different levels. Some have learnt only a few notes in their method book, whereas others have covered the whole of the stave. Wouldn’t it be great if you could…

World Book Day

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go Dr. Seuss It’s World Book Day and I’ve already had lots of my younger students tell me excitedly what their costumes will be at school today. I’m looking forward to seeing who turns up…

Who ate my cake?: an interactive mystery for beginner musicians!

Make music lessons fun with this new interactive musical mystery for beginners! Learn the music, search for clues and work out who ate the cake. At around 2 p.m on Thursday Mrs Sponge, the cook of Cherrywood Castle, told King Bomblebeard she had made his favourite cake and left it in the kitchen. The King…

Be scared and do it anyway!

I have been teaching some tricky semiquaver runs this week with a few students and this quote definitely comes to mind. Everything is going along swimmingly and then we get to “that bit” of the music! The bit that is difficult and we know we often have trouble with. Even though we have practised it…

Focus on the good

Do you come away from your music practice sessions feeling generally positive or negative? The main point of practice is to improve and make our music sound better. In doing so we naturally focus on the sections we can’t play. Sometimes, though, it is really easy to think about everything that is wrong with how…

Making comparisons in music lessons

Never compare one student’s test score to another’s. Always measure a child’s progress against her past performance. There will always be a better reader, mathematician, or baseball player. Our goal is to help each student become as special as she can be as an individual – not to be more special than the kid sitting next…

Music as brain training

Train your brain with music I was quite interested to read recently that playing the piano (or any musical instrument) can burn calories. It certainly feels like a workout sometimes, particularly when playing fiendish passages of fast semiquavers in more advanced music! But there are also numerous studies that have found learning music is good…

What is a teacher?

What is a teacher? I’ll tell you: it isn’t someone who teaches something, but someone who inspires the student to give of her best in order to discover what she already knows. Paul Coelho It is the start of a new term for me today and I’m looking forward to seeing all my students again….